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Not for Circulation: The George E. Bogaars Story

Publisher: NUS Press
  • Description
  • About the Author
  • The story of George Bogaars, a civil servant who played a key role in Singapore’s political history.

    Do civil servants make a difference? Can they shape history? In 1985 when John Drysdale published one of the first books on the political history of independent Singapore, George E. Bogaars wrote to his daughter with typical understatement, “I feature in it a bit.” Bogaars headed the special branch at the time of Operation Cold Store. He reported directly to pioneer leaders such as Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Keng Swee before they became political icons. He started the Singapore Armed Forces from scratch when he was Permanent Secretary of the Interior and Defence. He was the head of the civil service, involved in a dozen or so government-linked companies attempting to shore up the country’s infrastructure, and expand its business portfolio. He held the country’s purse strings when he moved into the finance ministry before his retirement at the age of fifty-five. His impressive resume belies a colorful, flamboyant character with a wicked sense of humor. Veteran Singaporean journalist Bertha Henson tells his story.

  • Bertha Henson worked in the Singapore Press Holdings stable of newspapers for 26 years, her last designation being Associate Editor of The Straits Times, Singapore’s national broadsheet. In 2012, she left the organisation to start her own media consultancy, Newsmakers, and to teach at the National University of Singapore. She is currently an Associate Professor of Practice at the Communications and New Media Department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in NUS. She started blogging at Bertha Harian the day after she left SPH employment and launched Breakfast Network, a semi-professional news website with friends and undergraduates in early 2013. The website closed its operations at the end of the year because she and fellow editors declined to meet registration requirements imposed by the Media Development Authority. She later set up The Middle Ground, which ran from 2015 to 2017. Her first book, Troublemaker, is a collection of her columns published in 2014. She still blogs at Bertha Harian.

ISBN: 9789813251625
Year Published: 2021